Come to garage sales with me!

You can find jeans, shirts and more for sale at local sales. Photo courtesy of Avery Ballmann

By Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer

I poured my piping hot coffee into my floral thermos, grabbed my reusable bags and cash and met my dad downstairs. We had the sales all mapped out according to proximity and type of sale. My dad and I have our ritual of garage sales down to a science, we were determined to find great deals this Saturday morning.

Garage sales can be either a treasure trove for some or a waste of time for others. Personally, I love garage sales because you never know what you’ll come across and the people you’ll meet.

Instead of aimlessly driving around, my dad and I look in the Waco Tribune Herald’s garage sales section.

There’s estate sales, which is when the family of the deceased opens their house and marks everything they don’t want to keep. These are the best types of sales because they have a certain percent off every day and you’re able to give the loved one’s item a second life.

The second-best kind of sale is a moving sale. The owners are itching to get rid of unwanted items for a very cheap amount. There’s usually a lot of decor, furniture and dinnerware at these types of sales.

The first bargain we went to, I’ll call this House A, was the motherlode for me. This was in Woodway, a suburb of Waco, and they must have had a daughter who was the same size as me because I found multiple clothing items.

The clothing section can either be a hit or a miss at sales, but usually each item of clothing is based on the seller’s preference. For example, at this sale the clothing was all $1. This is great because I found some very popular brands such as Gap, Forever 21 and BCG. I ended up buying a dress and a tennis skirt that cost me $2 and could have easily been $20 each in the department store.

House A also had tables full of Halloween and Christmas decor. They also had an immense amount of kitchenware that had never been used before. I grabbed a glass pie dish with the stickers still on it. I have slowly been collecting my dinnerware for my future apartment.

Like I said earlier, garage sales can be a hit or a miss — it honestly depends on what they are selling. Out of this Saturday morning sale, House A was the best for me since I found those clothing items.

The next house was also in Woodway; it’s key to have your sales mapped out according to distance so you don’t waste gas. I had high hopes for House B because it was an estate sale. As I approached the house, a bright green neon sign was taped on the door saying 25% off. I immediately ran inside. For estate sales I usually hit the closets first. I typically look for blazers, matching sets, belts and silk scarfs. At this sale, there were quilts and blankets, but unfortunately the clothes were not my size.

My dad went to the kitchen first then the garage to look for tools. We usually split up and find each other at the end once we’ve looked through everything.

Another aspect that I love about estate sales is that I like looking inside people’s houses. I especially enjoy looking at old houses because I love the way they decorate. This house was built in the 70s and I liked looking at those details when I was doing my walk-through. At House B I did not buy anything but my dad found a white Corning Ware pan, a vintage brand of dishes that was discontinued in the 90s, that was worth buying.

At the last house, which was also in Woodway, we didn’t find any material goods, though we did find a great conversation. Roaming through this man’s garage, my dad was asked if the seller played golf. My dad thought he was being funny since he saw the three sets of golf clubs and large grocery bags filled with golf balls. This then sparked a 30-minute conversation with him, my dad and I.

We never caught his name, but we shared monumental moments of our life’s journeys in his driveway. They discussed their careers and I shared my experience at Baylor so far. This is another reason why I love garage sales, because you get to make connections with people over their possessions that they once used to hold so dear.

Garage sales are for the patient-minded and not every time you venture out on the weekend will you find something amazing, but when you do find that special item the feeling of a great deal is incredible. I find these Saturday mornings very sacred because this is how my dad and I spend time with one another.

If you’re starting to feel like maybe garage sales are your thing, go with a group and make a morning out of it. Even if you don’t find any material treasure, the experience alone is priceless.